Research In Motion Ltd., the company behind the infamous BlackBerry device, has launched an update to its enterprise mobility management (EMM) software with the introduction of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BBES 10).
RIM is calling this version a reinvention of EMM since it’s a consolidated solution incorporating new mobile security and app management capabilities across all existing BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices, in addition to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices.
BBES 10 was built to accommodate the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment while giving IT admins a singular Web-based administration console. But RIM’s differentiator is the special BlackBerry Balance feature, which allows for segregation of personal and work data on BlackBerry devices. This provides both enterprises and users alike with true protection and flexibility, separating sensitive data wherever it lives, from e-mails to applications.
BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 also features the BlackBerry World for Work service, a specialized app store that can provide both corporate and corporate-recommended apps for employees — either pushed to devices or recommended post-device provisioning. And like many EMM solutions, BBES 10 includes group and policy management capabilities including Active Directory integration.
RIM is offering a 60 day trial of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and will also provide a BlackBerry 10 trade-in program, allows users to swap existing BlackBerry management licenses for new BlackBerry 10 licenses up until the end of 2013.
But can enterprise management software be RIM’s secret weapon? Maybe.
BlackBerry 10 devices (pictured) are slated for a hazy Q1 2013 and RIM has been mostly closed-lipped about revealing any other details. But RIM’s launch of BBES 10 and heavy focus on BlackBerry 10 devices with this release should be taken as a sign of confidence their upcoming devices. RIM could be rolling out an enterprise red carpet for its new device, and neither Apple Inc. nor Google offer a truly robust end-to-end native device and management combination. That alone could be RIM’s best shot at recapturing market share and mind share – and after all, this combination has always been one of RIM’s stronger points.
While many see the arrival of BlackBerry 10 as RIM’s last ditch effort, there’s reason to believe RIM could make it happen — thanks to Microsoft Corp. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have created more questions than demand and have yet to deliver on Microsoft’s promise of being enterprise-ready work devices. If RIM navigates carefully, it could leapfrog Microsoft’s shortcomings by delivering a straight no-nonsense approach to enterprise-mobility to arguably the last community that is demanding such a thing.
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